#SmallBusinessCheck: Why TikTok is the platform for your small business

We're here to help you get started on TikTok. We've got tips for your organic content, insights about TikTokers' purchasing behaviour, and ad strategies that'll help you find new and engaged audiences. If you've only got a spare 30 seconds, we've compressed everything from this article into a few bullet points. 

So in a nutshell:

  • TikTokers come to the platform to have their spirits lifted, to entertain and be entertained.

  • Finding new brands and products is another reason TikTokers come to the platform, with many using their For You page as gift inspiration.

  • Subcultures are huge on TikTok, and there's at least one for everyone and every brand.

  • SMBs are shown a lot of love on TikTok, with hashtags such as #smallbusinesslove and #shopsmallbusiness becoming increasingly popular.

  • Getting started is simple, and you don't need a big studio with perfect lighting to start creating.

  • There's an engaged audience, ready and waiting to see how you'll entertain them. All you need to do is get started. 

TikTok is the platform for entertainment, and with an algorithm built for endless discovery, it gives everyone the opportunity to entertain and be discovered. And TikTokers love coming here, in a recent Nielsen study, TikTok came out as the only app where people named 'lifting spirits' as the top reason for using it [1]. This discovery and joy opens the playing field for brands to get involved and get noticed. 

TikTokers are 31% more likely to engage with brands compared to other platforms [2], which gives businesses of all sizes the opportunity to jump in and entertain their audience. It's not about the size of your creative budget, nor does it matter how many followers you have, if you can entertain, inspire and/or spark joy, you're off to a great start. And this is easier than it sounds. You can show your audience how to use your products, take them behind the scenes or introduce your team.

Due to the authentic nature of content on TikTok, it's easy to get started. You don't need a fancy studio, or perfect lighting - just pick up your phone and speak directly to your audience. And when it comes to creating ads, follow these same rules. In return, your audience will like, comment, share and they may even use your content in their own videos. This is what brand advocacy looks like on TikTok, and it doesn't stop there. 67% of our audience say TikTok has introduced them to products they'd never even thought of before, which shows that not only is there an opportunity to build relationships with your current audience, but also find and interact with new audiences who are yet to be introduced to your brand. 

It's engagement with brands that often inspires TikTokers to purchase, with 83% of TikTokers saying the platform played a role in their purchase decisions [3]. And they'll even go on to share this with their community using the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag, which currently has over 1.5 billion views.

Find your audience

With over 100 million TikTokers across Europe, creating authentic content goes a long way in helping to get your brand in front of the right audience. Inside TikTok there are copious amounts of subcultures, a natural coming together of like-minded people. These groups aren't based on age, or gender, but a mindset - we refer to them as Generation T(ikTok). And there's a subculture for everyone, and every brand. If you're all about working up a sweat, you'll soon find yourself in #FitnessTok, which has 62.9 billion views at the time of writing. Mums are often found hanging out at #MumsofTikTok sharing stories and life hacks, and if you're looking for interior inspiration, #CottageCore is for you. No matter what you're selling, or who your audience is, there's a subculture for your brand.

This sense of community brings TikTokers closer together, where they are free to entertain each other and spread joy. And they're not shy in showing small businesses some love too. In the last 12 months, hashtags such as #SmallBusinessLove, #SmallBusinessCheck and #ShopSmallBusiness have grown exponentially, and the TikTok community are 15% more likely to buy from a small, independent business compared to other social media channels [4].

The opportunity for small businesses

People come to TikTok to discover everything from new trends and Creators, to new brands and products. This is a great opportunity for brands to target an audience who share this discovery mindset and create ads that fit seamlessly into the TikTok experience.

Brands are recognising this appetite for inspiration around purchases, and are jumping into the platform to engage with new audiences. Omolola, an afro-centric jewellery brand ran ads on Black Friday promoting their products. Their creatives were simple, and distinctly flaunted their product line. They achieved 19.7m impressions and a 12.37% conversion rate. 

Newcastle University used the platform to get their brand in front of 17-18 year olds at a time when they weren't able to host open days. This campaign achieved 1.1 million impressions and over 7k clicks to their personal statement guide download page. 

And SNOCKS, a popular German underwear brand, were looking to expand their audience using the TikTok integration on Shopify. They created numerous In-Feed Ads without leaving their Shopify dashboard, and with a 20% discount code added to each creative they recorded more than 150 conversions at a Cost Per Order of 11€.

These brands didn't spend weeks planning, creating and editing their creative, nor did they need to dig deep into their pockets to create content that would perform. These simple, and informative videos worked perfectly to engage their audience, and entice them into wanting to find out more. And no matter the size of your business, we've got you covered.

Whether you run a business from your bedroom, or your boardroom, there's a TikTok ad solution for you. Use In-Feed Ads to raise awareness and inspire purchases with content that fits seamlessly into your audiences' For You Page. And if you're trying to reach new audiences, head to the Creator Marketplace and team up with our talented Creators who are great at building advocacy between your audience and your brand.

Getting started on TikTok

Getting started is simpler than you might think. Start by telling your story organically. TikTokers love taking a closer look at a business, seeing the products and how they're made, and hearing the story of how it all started. You can then start boosting your profile with In-Feed Ads to raise awareness of your brand and your products. This will bring TikTokers to your profile where they can fall in love with your brand by watching your organic, authentic content.

There are also a flurry of trends that you can get involved with, and this is a great way of discovering new audiences. TikTokers adore imitation, so don't be afraid to get involved. This will allow you to flex your creative skills, and you can start figuring out what types of content work best for your brand. 

You won't be alone out there, as we've got you covered along the way with a suite of creative assets, tools and tips that'll have you selling out in no time: 

Ads Manager - If you haven't already, sign up to Ads Manager so you can boost those TikToks that are performing well.

Shopify - Do you run your business on Shopify? Add TikTok to your Sales Channels so you can create your ads, without leaving your Shopify dashboard. 

Creative centre - To help you along the way we have tools, solutions and creative guidance that will help take your brand to new heights.

Events - Catch us at an upcoming event, or take a look back at those we've ran in the past. 

Newsletter - Sign up for our newsletter, and once a month we'll send you the biggest news, trends, and case studies from the past 4 and a half weeks. 

References

  1. Nielsen - https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/new-study-finds-people-come-to-tiktok-to-lift-their-spirits

  2. Kantar report ‘The Power of TikTok’ 2020

  3. EU Holiday Shopping Research

  4. GWI, Base: Social Users vs TikTok audience 16+, Q3, Q4 2020 UK

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